Pink Sari Inc at Sydney Pink Test

KAMAL SARMA was at the Sydney Cricket Ground to see the pink saris flutter in support of the McGrath Foundation

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A sea of pink saris took over the entrance to the Sydney Cricket Ground on the morning of 3 January.

As Pink Sari Inc, they were there to support people experiencing breast cancer.

The Pink Sari movement has rallied big time to support the McGrath Foundation, which marks the first Test of the year at the SCG to raise awareness about a condition that sees 20,000 new sufferers each year.

Ever wondered about the magic behind a movement?

When folks team up for a good cause, it’s like unlocking a bit of enchantment.

What tugs at my heart the most is how Pink Sari Inc has broken down barriers by bringing people from all over South Asia and Australia, to carry on the legacy of Jane McGrath – the late wife of cricket legend Glenn McGrath and co-founder of the McGrath Foundation.

Glenn McGrath with Pink Sari Inc
Australian Cricket legend Glenn McGrath with Pink Sari Inc (Source: Supplied)

Let me tell you about Jane McGrath. Her battle with breast cancer and the impact of her own breast care nurse fuelled her commitment to making sure every family dealing with breast cancer has access to a breast care nurse, no matter where they live. Jane passed away in 2008, but her legacy lives on, with the Foundation celebrating Jane McGrath Day every January during the Sydney Pink Test. Funds are raised on this day for McGrath Breast Care Nurses – often described as ‘rockstars’ when you’re navigating the challenges of breast cancer.

Pink Sari Inc has been at Sydney Pink Test since 2019 when it was first invited by the McGrath Foundation. The pink silk saris had caused quite a colourful impact then, and have continued to do so every year since. It was only three years old then as a community-led initiative but had already made a mark, winning acclaim (and awards) as it helped raise screening rates for women from the Indian Subcontinent.  It did this through innovative and culturally appropriate projects, in partnership with the Cancer Institute of NSW and Multicultural Health Communication Services.

Cancer doesn’t discriminate based on religion, ethnicity, gender, politics, or age. It can hit any of us at any time. To address this universal challenge, a human-centric approach is imperative. This serves as a driving force behind Pink Sari Inc.’s relentless commitment to achieving improved health outcomes for the community.

As President Shantha Viswanathan has said on multiple occasions, “Pink Sari Inc. exists because we are of the community, by the community and for the community.”

Pink Sari Inc
Pink Sari Inc (Source: Supplied)

Coming together on its platforms now are not only cancer carers and survivors but also pinkaholic ambassadors, supporters and well-wishers from across the community – with local organisations AIMGA and Saree Club offering boisterous support lately.

Source: Supplied

Yet Pink Sari Inc’s presence at the Pink Test perhaps does more to raise awareness about its activities at the national level, than any other program.

People rallied in the thousands at the Pink Test this year to support the cause, raising money as well as awareness. Our special shoutouts to Prabodh Malhotra, who took on a Herculean journey walking from Melbourne to Sydney (over 1000km!), and the group The Big Three Trek, walking from the central coast to the Sydney cricket ground.

Pink Sari Inc at the Pink Test at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Source: Supplied

Have a pink sari in your closet? Source one, if you don’t, and bring it out at Pink Sari Inc.’s next event on World Cancer Day 4 Feb: a Cancer Awareness Walk, 5:00 pm from Sydney Town Hall to the Sydney Opera House.

With contributions from Rajni Anand Luthra 

READ ALSO: Pink Sari Inc: Seven years of pink power

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